Baby It's Cold Inside
Given that it was our second evening in a row at Cipriani’s – albeit at the midtown franchise on this occasion – our usual penchant for the venue had been dampened somewhat, and the inclement weather certainly wasn’t helping. But the UNICEF Snowflake Ball managed to turn our well plucked frowns upside down in a glittering evening of philanthropic revelry, with celebrities in a multitude of fields pitching in to lend a hand. The sumptuous menu was designed by revered chefs; the entertainment led by a veritable swing legend, and the auction prizes donated by some of America’s hottest talent. It is fair to say that UNICEF, like the bartenders, got the mix just right.
Katy Perry was the evening’s surprise A-List attendee, swishing through the foyer’s revolving doors in a fishtail dress designed by another of the evening’s guests, Naeem Khan. The couturier’s wife, jewelry designer Ranjana Khan, recently ventured into reality TV land with several appearances on The Real Housewives of New York and was quick to dispel her involvement with any of the cattiness the show has become famed for.
“Being on RHONY was fun, but I didn’t get caught up in the drama,” she told The Observer on the red carpet. “My friend Carole [Radziwill] wanted me to be involved with the last season, and she’s returning for the next one, so I know she might want me to do something again.” Did Mrs. Khan just let an inside secret slip, perchance? Ms. Radziwill is yet to officially confirm her involvement with season six, but you heard it here straight from the jeweler’s mouth. The Observer 1, RHONY 0.
Please sir can we have some more?
A restaurant opening in the chandeliered halls of The Pierre, flagship of Taj hotels, held much promise for some unrepentant gorging, but we were tragically left empty mouthed at Sirio’s grand unveiling on Wednesday evening, with not a crumb going spare.
“We have a lot of dear friends, and a lot of people who love Read More
Tony Bennett’s wasn’t the only gala dinner in Manhattan last Thursday, but that’s where Shindigger was, arriving at Cipriani 42nd Street for cocktail hour, just in time to catch a glimpse of Alec Baldwin. “Oh my God, he’s lost so much weight—I didn’t even recognize him!” we heard one guest whisper to another, eyeing the star who would kick off 30 Rock’s final season later that night. Mr. Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria Thomas, flaunted her Hebrew for the night’s honoree, entertainment lawyer Allen Grubman, before the couple headed off to the Norman Mailer Center benefit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Mr. Bennett, whose nonprofit Exploring the Arts operates in New York public schools, apparently lacked Ms. Thomas’s linguistic talent. Or so we learned when we asked the 86-year-old crooner, whose third Duets album pairs him with the likes of Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan, about his Spanish. “No habla Español,” answered his 46-year-old wife, co-host and translator, Susan Benedetto. We changed the subject to Mr. Bennett’s next album, a recently announced full-length collaboration with Lady Gaga. “I know that she’s one of the great singers of all time, but people don’t know that,” Mr. Bennett explained. “They just see another, you know, big new star coming up, but she is one hell of a singer. She can improvise as great as Ella Fitzgerald.”
We stopped at the bar to take in the student artwork, alongside photographs of Mr. Bennett (himself a talented painter) with young dancers and musicians. A disembodied voice urged us to our table, where pink paintbrushes matched the flower arrangement.
Yesterday evening, guests convened at Lincoln Center to celebrate Tony Bennett’s 85th Birthday. Mr. Bennett gave several musical performances throughout the evening, including a duets with Aretha Franklin and Elton John. Guests included Robert de Niro, Richard Gere, Whoopi Goldberg, Nanci Pelosi, Bill Clinton, Katie Couric, and Alec Baldwin, who chose to attend Read More
Stardust Melodies: A Biography of Twelve of America’s Most Popular Songs , by Will Friedwald. Pantheon Books, 397 pages, $27.50.
Let’s suppose that Rip Van Winkle has overslept really seriously this time-say 50 years instead of his usual 20-his wake-up question now would surely have to be “Where did all the music go?” Why, Read More
I’ve always wanted to go to Rao’s, but I could never get a table. But then a friend who knows the owner invited me there for dinner one night. We drove up and left the car on a dark, deserted street in East Harlem under the scrutiny of a couple of beefy guys in suits. Read More